Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Bully for president

I’ve been having a number of painful Internet debates with the people who think that Hillary is a crook.

I don’t think she is a crook. I think she made some mistakes.  These people don’t seem to understand the difference between making mistakes and committing a crime.

It’s painful debating these people, because they are invariably insulting and bullying.  They are not able to have a civil conversation.

They also seem to believe that being smart means that you never make mistakes.

I had a flash of insight about these people.  They must, like me, have grown up in families where making a mistake was regarded as intolerable; but, unlike me, they haven’t spent 11 years in 12 step programs trying to unlearn that false premise.

Being smart doesn’t mean that you don’t make mistakes.  It means that you learn from them.  It means that you learn complex material quickly, that your thinking is flexible.

If you grew up in an environment where mistakes were severely punished, it limits your ability to be creative and take risks.  This limits your ability to achieve.  It limits your intelligence.

When these people call me all manner of names, because I don’t agree with them, or tell me to leave the country, I am hearing the voice of their parents.  This is how their parents spoke to them when they were little.  This is how they learned to address others.  They learned emotional abuse, so they dish it out.

For years now, we have been trying to stamp bullying out in our schools.  Then, horribly, a bully, Donald Trump (aka Adolph Drumpf) has taken control of a major party — voted in by those creepy people who are bully hangers on — who think bullying is funny.  It’s the revenge of the bullies.

Putin likes him.  Putin obviously came from a bullying atmosphere, himself.

How many bullies are there out there? 

There was a famous book that said — and I wish I remembered the title — that capitalism is a system that rewards sociopaths.  People with scruples can’t make it to the top as well as people who are heartless, selfish, driven. 

This election, more than any previous election, tests the dichotomy between the bullying sociopaths and those who seek to foster a freer, gentler environment.

For me that is the heart of the difference between Republicans and Democrats, not politics, but style.

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